Computer Science


The Capstone Experience provides the educational capstone for all students majoring in computer science at Michigan State University. Teams of students build software projects for corporate clients. For information on becoming a project sponsor, see Project Sponsorship or contact Dr. Wayne Dyksen. The following are the project sponsors and projects for the fall of 2013.


Auto-Owners Insurance: Catastrophe Insurance Adjuster App

Auto-Owners Insurance is a Fortune 500 company that is known for exceptional financial strength and stability with written premiums of over $5 billion. For over 95 years, Auto-Owners has been dedicated to the independent agency system.

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Catastrophes such as hurricanes, tornados and earthquakes often cause widespread damage affecting many Auto-Owners policyholders. As a result, an unusually large number of claims are filed by its customers simultaneously.

When a catastrophe occurs, our Catastrophe Insurance Adjuster App enables Auto-Owners to manage large teams of insurance claim adjusters to respond to its customers’ needs as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

Using our app, catastrophe coordinators at Auto-Owners assign a list of customer claims to adjusters. As adjusters select claims to process, our app provides navigation directions from location to location. Adjusters receive continual updates from the catastrophe coordinators.

As adjusters process claims, they change the status of a claim from “Assigned” to “In Progress” to “Completed.” After a claim is marked as completed, the adjuster’s app updates with navigation to the next claim location.

Our Catastrophe Insurance Adjuster App supports desktop computers, laptops and a wide range of mobile devices such as mobile phones and tablets.

Our app is written in PHP, HTML, CSS3, and utilizes the Google Maps API. The data is hosted in a MySQL database.

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Team Members (L to R): Hao Wu, Renee Margaret McConahy, Zach Yao, Ryan Rogers


The Boeing Company: Aircraft Assembly Line Simulator 

The Boeing Company is the world’s leading aerospace company and the largest manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft.

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Aircraft assembly lines are very large and very complex systems, which represent significant investments for Boeing. With the average assembly time of one month per aircraft, it is important to minimize the time and cost of building an aircraft, while maximizing safety.

Developed in collaboration with Boeing, our Aircraft Assembly Line Simulator is used to design new assembly lines, and to optimize existing ones.

After launching our simulator, users are able to create an assembly line by placing various assets on a factory floor. After completing the factory layout, the simulation begins during which users can navigate throughout the assembly line and observe various assembly processes while they occur.

When the simulation completes or is stopped, users are presented with statistical data that measures the performance of the assembly line. This performance data is then analyzed by a specialist who determines the overall efficiency and safety of the user- created assembly line.

After analyzing a factory layout for cost and safety improvements, users can modify their factory, rerun their simulation, and collect new performance data.

Our Aircraft Assembly Line Simulator runs natively on Windows 7 and Mac OSX. It uses the Unity Game Engine and is scripted in C#.

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Team Members (L to R): Ross Blakeney, Kyle Kotulak, Sean Heider, Dave Grabowski


General Motors: Augmented Reality Auto Mobile Guide App

Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, General Motors is a global Fortune 100 automobile company with over 212,000 employees on six continents. For over 100 years, General Motors has developed innovative technologies and shaped the future of the automotive industry.

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Our Augmented Reality Auto Mobile Guide App provides iPhone users with instant information about GM automobiles simply by pointing their phones at a car.

A tap of the screen shows all of the car’s special features and specifications along with promotional photos.

The example at the right shows our app identifying a model of a 2005 Corvette along with the screen resulting from tapping “Tap for More Info.”

Users can save favorites and review cars looked at previously. Pictures and information about the car can be shared on Facebook and Twitter with a simple press of a button.

Our Augmented Reality Mobile Guide App furthers GM’s reputation as one of the automobile industry’s leaders in technological innovation.

Our app is written in Objective-C using Xcode for iOS 7. Our application identifies cars using the Metaio image recognition software.

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Team Members (L to R): Madalyn Parker, David Wigell, Matt Wenner, Jon Bauer


IBM Corporation: Information Technology Assessment Toolkit

IBM Corporation strives to create technology that makes the world smarter, faster, and better. They have been developing hardware and software solutions for over a century.

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Information technology (IT) consulting is one of the primary services of IBM. Our Information Technology Assessment Toolkit is designed to improve the performance of IBM’s consultants thereby increasing the benefit their clients receive from their services.

Our Information Technology Assessment Toolkit enables IBM consultants to organize and synthesize data, expedite the assessment processes, and provide feedback that is beneficial to their clients. Consultants can store data collected from their clients onto a database, quickly generate and send surveys to their clients, and produce interactive charts and graphs from the survey results.

Consultants do three main assessments for each client: one for the business group, one for IT group, and one for both. Assessments can be done remotely by emailing surveys in the form of Microsoft Word documents or in person at a consulting seminar called a workshop.

Our toolkit performs cross-client comparisons so that consultants can see trends across all their clients, providing insights on the most common areas requiring improvement.

Our Information Technology Assessment Toolkit is a native Microsoft Windows application developed in Microsoft Visual Studio using the .NET Framework. The Entity Framework is used to communicate with an IBM DB2 Express-C database.

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Team Members (L to R): Adam Koshorek, Alex Hanlon, Connor Gilbert, Eunbong Yang


Meijer: Chief Information Officer Dashboard

Meijer is a regional supercenter providing quality food and merchandise in five states throughout the Midwest. Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Meijer has nearly 200 stores and over 60,000 employees.

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In order to provide the best service possible for its customers, Meijer makes significant use of a wide variety of information technologies that are managed by a large group of information technology (IT) professionals who are led by the Chief Information Officer (CIO).

Our Chief Information Officer Dashboard provides the CIO with an at-a-glance status of all of the major IT functions throughout Meijer.

Our CIO dashboard summarizes large amounts of complex data on a single display using eight subsections of color-coded charts and graphs. Green, yellow and red are used to indicate performance with red zones requiring attention.

Many of the eight subsections support so-called drill-down views. Clicking on a chart or graph reveals more detailed views that display more detailed information, which can be used to determine the cause of a problem.

The main CIO dashboard view combined with drill-down views provides the Chief Information Officer with a single easy-to-use source of information of all of Meijer’s IT systems.

The CIO Dashboard uses Microsoft’s SQL Server Reporting Services and is hosted by Microsoft’s Report Server.

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Team Members (L to R): Kevin Kwon, Connor Avery, K Suh, Amin Itani


Mozilla Corporation: Australis-Styled Widgets for Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla Firefox is one of the world’s most popular web browsers. Millions of people each day use Firefox to surf the Internet. Part of Firefox’s success is due to its extensions, which are applications that add to the browser’s functionality.

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Mozilla is changing the way Firefox looks with a new visual style called Australis. In addition to visual changes, Australis changes the way some of Firefox’s extensions look and work.

Our Australis-Styled Widgets for Mozilla Firefox show users the new face of Firefox extensions. Our four widgets make use of Mozilla’s latest technology including Australis’ new visual style as well as a number of new tools in Firefox.

The weather extension displays weather information such as current temperature, humidity and cloud coverage. Users get weather for their city and can add up to four more cities

The music player extension plays back virtually any music file on a user’s computer. It keeps track of their music collection and automatically downloads cover art.

The MSU sports extension tells users all about their favorite Spartan team. Schedules and scores are available for many popular MSU sports.

The Bugzilla extension lets users track their tickets on Bugzilla from one easy window. The extension sorts tickets into categories and quickly shows each ticket’s important information.

Our four Firefox extensions are written in JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and Mozilla’s XML User-Interface Language (XUL).

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Team Members (L to R): Eric Proper, Eric Slenk, Dan Poggi, Dave Thorpe


MSU Federal Credit Union: Smart Start Savers

Michigan State University Federal Credit Union (MSUFCU) was founded in 1937 in East Lansing, Michigan. MSUFCU is an important member of the Michigan State University community and is currently the largest university-based credit union in the world, serving more than 175,000 members.

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MSUFCU recognizes the importance of teaching our youth the value of being financially responsible. Our Smart Start Savers app is an iPad application that provides local elementary and middle school students with the ability to do banking at MSUFCU micro-branches during the school day.

Once a school is enrolled in the Smart Start Savers program, parent volunteers are able to use our iPad app to set up MSUFCU micro-branches within the school to accept and review student deposits.

Students bring the cash they wish to deposit to the parent volunteer who then uses our app to locate the student’s account and record their deposit. Our app sends a receipt to each student’s parent or guardian.

When the in-school banking hours are over, our app creates a daily summary so that the parent volunteer can reconcile the day’s deposits. The parent volunteer takes the money to a local MSUFCU branch to be processed by MSUFCU associates.

This Smart Start Savers program is designed for initial use by MSUFCU’s Oakland University Credit Union brand.

Our app runs on an iPad 2 or newer running at least iOS 6. It is written in Objective-C and interfaces with a PHP API to access the MySQL database.

Team Members (L to R): Allen Koppman, Phil Getzen, Mairin Chesney, Adam Proschek


Quicken Loans: Survey and Voting Web Apps

Quicken Loans is the nation’s largest online mortgage lender and is headquartered in Detroit, Michigan. The company has closed nearly two million home loans since being founded in 1985.

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Quicken Loans uses electronic survey and voting tools to collect feedback from their team members. Feedback may be gathered over the course of days with a survey or instantly by voting at meetings.

Currently, Quicken Loans uses third-party survey and voting tools. Use of these third-party tools is cumbersome and results often fail to meet the needs of Quicken Loans.

Designed in collaboration with our clients from Quicken Loans, our Survey and Voting Web Apps provide survey and voting tools that are completely internal to Quicken Loans.

Using our web apps, team members create surveys and voting ballots, take surveys and vote, and review survey and voting results. Surveying and voting can be done anonymously and restricted using Geo-Fencing. Results can be exported to Excel spreadsheets.

Our Survey and Vote Web Apps supports all modern desktop web browsers as well as many mobile devices.

Our application uses a Model-View-Controller architecture with the Microsoft Entity Framework along with jQuery and JavaScript. Microsoft SQL Server is used to store surveys, voting ballots and results.

Team Members (L to R): Jake Nyenhuls, Kate Davis, Mike Meldrum, Clif Howard


Spectrum Health System: Talent Connections Careers Mobile Site

Spectrum Health System, headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, provides high quality, high value healthcare in West Michigan through its nine hospitals, which are staffed by over 20,000 employees.

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In order to maintain and grow its workforce, Spectrum Health hosts online job search and application systems.

Our Talent Connections Careers Mobile Site is a new easy-to-use mobile job application system that provides a way for on-the-go users to apply quickly and easily for jobs at Spectrum Health. Our system supports both smart phones and tablets.

When a user expresses interest in applying for a position, they are directed to the search page shown at the right. Available jobs can be filtered by numerous criteria or sorted either alphabetically or by the date they were posted.

Search results include basic information about each job, including a position title and location. Tapping on a job search result gives more details along with an option to apply.

Our mobile web site uses a responsive layout, which enables it to accommodate the great variety of differing mobile device screen sizes automatically and dynamically.

Since many mobile phones and tablets do not allow users to store documents on them, our Talent Connections Careers Mobile Site is integrated with DropBox so users can submit their résumés by logging into their DropBox account.

Our single-page web app employs state-of-the-art technologies including HTML5, CSS3, AngularJS and Bootstrap.

Team Members (L to R): Max Sweet, Chris Cheaney, Hayden Boroski, Nate Langolf


TechSmith: Learning Activity Center

Based in Okemos, Michigan, TechSmith provides over 180 countries around the world with screen capture and recording software, which is widely used in educational settings for computer-based learning activities.

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Our Learning Activity Capture software captures users’ computer-based learning activities by tracking and organizing these activities, and making them available to users online.

Our software is comprised of three distinct parts: a Google Chrome extension, a Microsoft Windows application and the TechSmith Smart Player. All three create and record statements that describe a user’s learning experience. Users can view an organized summary of their learning activities on their individualized “Record Store” web page.

The Chrome extension is a browser button that, when pressed, sends statements about visited websites as a learning activity. Typical statements are “Ben read a Wikipedia article” or “Brett watched a YouTube video.”

Unlike the Chrome extension, the Windows application sends statements automatically by monitoring when certain programs or files are opened and determining the appropriate time to record these events as learning activities.

The TechSmith Smart Player is a web application that presents interactive video quizzes and sends these quiz results as learning activity statements.

The user applications are written in JavaScript and C#, the web pages are served through Django, and the back-end is supported by a PostgreSQL database.

Team Members (L to R): Joseph Lindlbauer, David Jones, Anthony Kazyaka, Michael Quiroga


Urban Science: Dealership Consultant Mobile App

Urban Science is a business-solutions company focused on supporting the sales and marketing needs of automotive companies. They leverage a scientific methodology to help their client partners sell more vehicles, improve profitability, and increase customer loyalty.

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Urban Science consultants work with individual dealerships to improve their performance. Consultants collect and analyze dealership specific data along with regional data. Using this information, consultants travel to dealerships and meet with their clients to review performance data and make recommendations for improvements.

Working with Urban Science, we have developed a mobile app for use by consultants before, during and after meetings with dealerships called Dealership Assistant.

Our app provides consultants with instant and easy access to all of the dealership performance data during their client meetings. Graphs and charts provide helpful visualizations of the data to identify areas needing improvement.

Consultants then use our app to record the results of the meeting along with agreed upon action items for the dealership, which are then uploaded to a central database for further analysis by Urban Science.

Our Dealership Consultant Mobile App supports both iPads and Android tablets.

Our software is written in XCode and Java. SQL is used for the back-end database.

Team Members (L to R): Ryan Tempas, Matt Ao, Eric Zipple, Zach Kuzmanic


Whirlpool Corporation: Connected Appliance SmartZones App

Whirlpool Corporation is a leader of the global home appliance industry. With appliances in every major category, Whirlpool offers products to serve all kinds of household needs with innovative features and cutting edge technology.

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Whirlpool’s latest generation of “Connected Appliances” offers increased energy savings and convenience on-the-go through specialized smartphone apps.

Our Connected Appliance SmartZones App enables Whirlpool customers to create and manage so-called “SmartZones,” which provide customers with important information about their appliances and automate appliance features. There are four types of SmartZones.

The VacationZone controls home appliances while customers are away from home. The ComfortZone is perfect for “set it and forget it” temperature management. Both of these zones reduce energy costs and automate appliance operations.

In addition, the AlertMeZone and RemindMeZone send Whirlpool Connected Appliance customers information about maintenance and regular replacement parts such as water filters.

Our Connected Appliance SmartZones App uses a diverse range of technologies including location services and the Whirlpool Connected Appliance API. Our app is written in Objective-C for iPhones and Java for Android phones.

Team Members (L to R): Joe Wandyez, Jack Schinderle, Josh Geschwendt, Anthony Donofrio